On Thursday, Germany’s coronavirus caseload increased for the first time in two weeks, with over 28,000 new cases, according to the Robert Koch Institute, adding to concerns about limits this winter.
One of the criteria used to decide policy measures is the number of new infections per 100,000 persons over seven days, which is currently at 130.2, up 12.2 points from 118.0 the day before. Since mid-October, new infections have been continuously increasing.
According to Gerald Gass, the director of the German Hospital Federation (DKG), the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICUs) has increased by 15% in a week.
If the trend continues, he said, there could be 3,000 cases in the ICU in two weeks.
“Even if the hospitals could handle it, it would not be possible without constraints on normal operations,” Gass said.
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach told the Rheinische Post newspaper that lockdowns or school closures were not on the cards, but the decision on whether to lift safety measures such as mask mandates would depend on the situation in spring.
The three political parties in talks to form the next government have said they do not support extending a pandemic-related state of emergency set to expire on Nov. 25.
Instead, they have recommended amending Germany’s Infection Protection Act to allow states to impose protective measures.
State leaders fear a patchwork of different regulations in each region could make them harder to enforce.